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Bible Discussion — Luke 8 : Bweinh!

Bible Discussion — Luke 8

February 13, 2008, 12:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Chloe, Connie, David, Erin, Josh J, Steve  | No Comments

This week, Bweinh.com looks at the next chapter of Luke, Luke 8.

Genesis: 1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26
27-29 | 30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50
Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18
19-22 | 23-26 | 27-30 | 31-34 | 35-40
Romans: Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4 | Ch. 5 | Ch. 6 | Ch. 7 | Ch. 8 (I)
Ch. 8 (II) | Ch. 9 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15-16
Luke: 1:1-38 | 1:39-2:40 | 2:41-3:38 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7

Jesus teaches a wonderful parable about the types of soil we offer God to work with in our life, heals a demoniac and a woman plagued with a life-long infirmity, and then raises the dead again.

The people of the Gerasenes were overcome with fear, and that’s why they asked Jesus to leave them. Even after he’d performed a miracle, the people’s fear was what drove Jesus away.

One of the women who supported Jesus was the wife of Herod’s steward.

Jesus kept the true meaning of the parable of the soils from the crowd, then urged His disciples not to light a lamp and hide it under a jar or a bed. I don’t think this is contradictory, though; Jesus simply knew the same secret that TV producers, secret societies and women use to their benefit: a little mystery is attractive.

Soon what was concealed would be brought into the open, but making the people work a little, to use their minds to discover the Truth, had numerous benefits to the Kingdom and its future followers. Our Lord isn’t into brainwashing.

On His way to visit Jairus’ daughter, Jesus has the encounter with the woman with the issue of blood. I couldn’t help but wonder, if she hadn’t come forward and identified herself, would He have taken back the healing? Otherwise, why was He asking? He goes on to say the answer — her answer — was the reason for the healing. But was it the answer, the mere stated words, or the declared faith in those words?

Josh: Hidden Light
Chloe: Broken Chains
David: Came Down A Storm
Connie: Gadarenes
Steve: Drowning Pigs; Abyss

I heard a woman preach one time on v. 35, when the townspeople see the demoniac “sitting…clothed…and in his right mind…and were afraid!” Afraid of someone set free, no longer possessed because he’s sane now and sitting with Jesus???

I had friends like that when I got saved. I thought of all the crazy things I did on drugs and alcohol, and yet it was seeing me going to church and carrying a Bible that made them all genuinely concerned about my mental health!

Bob Bennett, amiable bear of a man, has an excellent song about the demon-possessed man, and it runs through my mind every time I read this passage.

A good friend of mine wrote a parallel story to the man possessed by Legion. She took the elements of isolation and cutting (found in Mark), and turned it into a gripping narrative about a person’s struggle with depression, worthlessness, and self-mutilation, and how Jesus can cast those “demons” out. This passage really is an important testimony of how people can be delivered from these thoughts and actions.

It is interesting to me that after Jesus calmed the wind and waves (v.24), the disciples’ question wasn’t how He did it or by what power He did it; they ask, “Who is this?” Even after leaving everything and following Jesus, they do not and cannot really understand everything that He is.

Similarly, although we may recognize Jesus as our Lord and Savior, the idea behind living our lives for Christ is that we continually grow in our faith and our understanding of His working in our lives and in the world as a whole. If we didn’t have this constant need to learn and surrender and believe, what does “getting saved” turn into but fire insurance?

Those in the room mourning the death of Jairus’s daughter laughed at Jesus when He told them she was “not dead but asleep.” They laughed, it says, “knowing that she was dead.”

I wonder how often we too laugh at the possibilities of God’s work and will in our lives and others’, because of what we think we know.

I’ve heard many explanations for why Jesus taught with parables, but never what seems to be indicated by His own words in this passage — that He was actually trying to hold back from some of the gathered (v. 10), or at least trying to single out those who were spiritually sensitive (v. 8).

In explaining His parable of the soils, Jesus uses some form of the word “hear” 8 times. Any understanding of that parable has to include our need to hear from God while overcoming the inevitable distractions of life and the resistance of our enemy.

Luke then reaffirms this important message on hearing by mentioning that when Jesus’ family tried to see Him, He redefined His family as “they that hear the word of God and keep it.”

The woman who had been bleeding was considered unclean under Jewish law. That means no one would have touched her for twelve years. After hearing that, I understood not only why she was so afraid when Jesus asked who touched Him, but also how remarkable it was that power went out from Him.

When we’re sick and we touch each other, we make each other unclean by the law, but when we touch Jesus, He makes us clean instead. It’s the same with the dead girl — if we touched her, we’d be unclean. When Jesus touched her, she was raised to life.

I love the fact that Mary, Joanna, Susanna and other well-off women of the community were helping to fund Jesus’ ministry. The fact that Luke mentioned them is another sign of how Jesus sought to validate and encourage women and their important roles within each community.

Although I disdain TV evangelists’ pleas for money, Jesus did have wealthy people who “ministered unto him of their substance” (8:3). It is important to give to the work of the Lord.

I always thought verse 21 was so harsh, concerning His mother and brothers. There was no VIP lounge on this tour.

Did the folks who owned the pigs ask Jesus for any money for the ones who drowned? Did they fish them out of the sea and eat them anyway? Was the meat possessed too?

I am Jesus’ mother (8:21).

8:17 — “For nothing is secret that will not be revealed, nor anything hidden that will not be known and come to light.”

8:25 — “But He said to them, ‘Where is your faith?’ And they were afraid, and marveled, saying to one another, ‘Who can this be? For He commands even the winds and water, and they obey Him!’ ”

8:21 — “But He answered and said to them, ‘My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.’ ”

8:8 — ” ‘But others fell on good ground, sprang up, and yielded a crop a hundredfold.’ When He had said these things He cried, ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear!’ ”

8:50 — “But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, ‘Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.’ ”

Why a whole herd of pigs? And why did they kill themselves immediately — or did they? Can pigs swim? What’s up with that? Did they know more than we do?

Why did Jesus give in to the demons’ pleadings to go into the pigs instead of the abyss?

Why does Jesus tell Jairus and his family not to tell anyone what happened with his daughter — right after instructing the no-longer-demon-possessed man to go home and tell how much God had done for him?

Why the demon was worried about being tormented.

The woman healed from the issue of blood is never the point in any Gospel narrative; she has to barge into someone else’s story, causing the death of the young girl, to get her miracle.

Sometimes it’s up to you to get what you need from God. Don’t wait for your turn. Don’t worry about being polite. Get what you need while He’s near. If He has to raise the other person from the dead later, don’t worry, get what you need!

Which is scarier: a crazy, chain-breaking, uncontrollable naked guy, or the man who heals him? Sometimes we’re so afraid of change, even from our obvious dysfunction, that we push Jesus away.

Imagine spending time as one of Jesus’ disciples, without the knowledge you already have of Him. How could you possibly begin to know what to expect? He chooses fishermen as his closest companions, accepts adoration from prostitutes while insulting the religious and rich, talks in difficult parables, and leaves His sainted mother waiting while He preaches to crowds about how they can be His family.

And then you take Him sailing — at least there you’d be on your “turf,” right? — and lo and behold, He commands the very wind and waves to obey! By that point, raising the dead probably didn’t seem like such a big surprise.

Until now, Jesus has been doing all the heavy lifting, but next chapter, He sends His twelve disciples out to do some work. Chapter 9 will address some of the high and low points of the very human men who accompanied Christ during His ministry.


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